It's my birthday today and I am getting calls and messages from my friends and relatives for wishes. Some of them are close friends and some relatives are younger than me while others are elder than me. Some are just acquaintance.

However, I am a bit confused about showing them gratitude for their wishes and replying with a thank you message.

My question is, who should I say Thanks, Thank You and Thank You Very Much without sounding too formal?


2 Answers 2


In the US, if you are talking to close friends, it is fine to use "thanks" even in a written message, but in Japan, it would be more appropriate to use the longer "thank you". I'm unsure of how it is in India, but when expressing gratitude, I personally try to be somewhat formal, but wouldn't opt for adding a "very much" at the end of it as it seems forced. If you received something from them, I would follow the thank you with what I am thankful for and explain how it helped me.

If I misunderstood your question, and it is a verbal response to them congratulating you over the phone or in person, save for elders and those above you socially (the president of your company, etc) saying "thanks" is perfectly acceptable. In the exception mentioned above, "thank you" is preferred.


Here in the UK, I don't think it matters a great deal. Replying with any of these is polite and will let the person know you're acknowledging their kindly meant wishes, but many people wouldn't think twice at which of these you replied with.

As a rule of thumb, if someone sends an especially nice or touching message, or it's from someone especially important to you like a close friend, you could send a more emphatic reply (thanks very much!).

I think "many thanks!" is a good catch-all if you're worried about it, but there's no need to worry.

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